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Inspiring the Next Generation of Leading-Edge Interactive Products: Touch Screen Technology Comes of Age

09 October 2014

Combining outstanding durability and lightning fast multi-touch responsiveness– Projective capacitive touch technology is leading the way in the design of innovative interactive products in recent years.

Advancements in Digital Technologies are shaping the way consumers think about and engage with brands, transforming how and where users interact with products and services. Whether it’s buying tickets to the latest blockbuster movie, or purchasing a soft drink; consumer expectations are higher than ever, and they’re empowered as never before. In response, brands are re-thinking how they reach customers, investing in the latest display technology, intuitive interactivity and eye catching content to enhance the user experience and connect with consumers.

Adding fuel to the fire, the unparalleled boom in consumption and global consumption is triggering a spike in product innovation.  Brands need to think quicker, bigger and better in order to reach more users and stand out in an over-stimulated market saturated with screens, adverts and promotions 24/7.

Standing head and shoulders above the crowd

Leading-edge touch screen technology is inspiring creative processes and offering exciting new possibilities for designers to engage their customers. Curved touch screens, for example, offer a whole new kind of user experience, where the content quite literally reaches out to or envelops users, drawing them in to the digital world.

Large concave touchscreen displays have the ability to absorb the user in an all-encompassing environment, immersing them in the content and enhancing their experience. This is seen in practice in the new Aristocrat slot machine, which was recently unveiled at the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas 2014. Featuring a dual 42-inch display and curved touchscreen, the unit stands tall amongst a sea of bright and flashing casino games – “bringing an immersive and holistically unified gaming experience to the player” cites Matt Wilson, Aristocrat’s senior vice president of sales and marketing for North America in his interview with the Global Gaming Business Magazine.

Curved touchscreen technology

And, at the opposite end of the size spectrum, smaller convex screens also make their mark. Organically shaped and tactile, the screens invite the touch of the user, making interacting with the display difficult to resist. See, for example, this proof-of-concept exhibition installation, incorporating a convex 32-inch multi-touch screen, which debuted at InfoComm.

Slot machine designers are the early adopters of curved touchscreens. Interactive displays in the retail, gallery and museum sectors and in showrooms and reception areas can benefit from adopting innovative screens of this variety.

Touch Screen technology like never before

During the design process of a display unit, gaming cabinet, vending machine or a kiosk, aesthetics are sometimes secondary to usability. However, with Zytronic projected capacitive technology (PCT™), incredible functionality and proven performance go hand in hand with pioneering near limitless levels of customisation, so design ideas are rarely compromised. Combining cutting edge touch sensing electronics, PCT™ allows for beautifully responsive, accurate and rugged touch sensing.

Multi-touch sensors can boost the density of touch data captured by the screen, significantly increasing touch resolution whilst still maintaining millisecond response times.  Supporting up to 40 simultaneous touch points, multi-user designed product experiences are enriched by the capabilities of MPCT™ multi-touch sensors. By creating these surfaces in which multiple users can interact simultaneously, sharing their experiences, new opportunities have arisen for companies using touch displays.

Touch table interactive digital signage platforms entice the engagement of all consumer types, young and old, allowing companies to make good use of this new opportunity for customer interaction.

MPCT™ touch sensors support large format displays up to 85” and will react to a finger or a conductive stylus but not a carelessly dropped book, or the brush of a sleeve – making them ideal for table applications. As the touch sensors are made from thick toughened glass, the Zytronic enabled tables shrug off the kind of abuse that would see other touch technologies run for the hills.

As industrial design, marketing and technological concepts collide; the outcome is a new innovative digital experience that is equally as beneficial to the vendor as it is to the end users.

Case in point

The Coca-Cola Freestyle™, launched in 2009, is a touch screen soda dispenser, serving customers 100+ flavours of their favourite beverage brands. Seen as the ultimate soft drink experience, the dispensers have proved to be hugely popular, boosted sales and increasing guest traffic in restaurants installing one of the units. Utilising PCT™, consumer and serving team alike interact with the slick and bright 15.1” interface. This growth initiative for Coca-Cola ticked two important boxes.  Firstly, they created a new cool, interactive way for customers to consume their products, whilst simultaneously creating a platform to gather crucial buying habits data and purchase behaviour insights. And in doing so they fulfilled the second objective: to create a durable, reliable PCT™ fit for a challenging, quick-serve restaurant environment.

Coca-Cola Freestyle touch screen beverage dispenser

If you would like to know more about PCT™ touch sensors, multi touch technology or curved touchscreens, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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